One of Lady Gaga's career-defining hits, "Bad Romance" captivated the pop music community with its unique sound and avant-garde visuals. The single won two Grammy Awards, including Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. Billboard critics also named "Bad Romance" the best music video of the 21st century, cementing her status as one of the most creative forces in music.
Lady Gaga pushed for the release of this moody, mid-tempo, Europop jam, despite an internal dispute with her label over concerns of its chart performance. While the breakup bop didn't make a huge splash on mainstream radio, the music video certainly caused a stir with its sexual, political and religious imagery.
The dark disco sounds of "Monster" echo the same sonic energy found throughout The Fame, which makes the "Just Dance" reference during the bridge all the more cheeky. According to Gaga, the lyrical content was inspired by her fear of attachment, as well as sex and relationships. The track is another prime example of her uncanny ability to channel heartbreak and pain into great dance music.
One of the most emotional cuts from the album, Lady Gaga wrote "Speechless" as a plea to her father, Joseph Germanotta, who was suffering from a serious heart condition when she penned the personal track. She hoped the song would push him to undergo open-heart surgery to repair a malfunctioning aortic valve, a procedure he ultimately had done prior to the release of the record.
The piano ballad showed off her talents as a full-fledged singer-songwriter, and pulled inspiration from '70s glam rock -- evoking the musical stylings of David Bowie and Queen.
'Dance In The Dark'
This bold and bombastic club banger was nominated for Best Dance Recording at the 53rd annual Grammy Awards. Much like Madonna's "Vogue", Lady Gaga calls out prominent figures in pop culture during the bridge -- including Marilyn Monroe, Judy Garland, Liberace, Princess Diana and more.
'Telephone' ft. Beyoncé
Name a more iconic duo! Gaga and Beyoncé teamed up on this Grammy-nominated track, which was originally written for Britney Spears. The dance-pop single was the perfect foil for another incredible music video -- a continuation of Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi". The Quentin Tarantino-inspired short film features impressive choreography and serious "Thelma And Louise" vibes.
'So Happy I Could Die'
Another track that would've been right at home on The Fame, "So Happy I Could Die" is arguably one of the strongest tracks on this record. Fans will note its undeniable haunting quality, which highlights the genius of Lady Gaga: there's always something deeper beneath the beat.
Elements of "Teeth" foreshadow Gaga's foray into different genres, including rock and jazz. The persistent march of the backing track and so-called perverse lyrics are hypnotic and leave the listener wanting more. The perfect way to end an album.